The MindKare Kiosk Lets Users Self-Screen for Mental Health Conditions

It’s produced by Wellesley-based non-profit Screening For Mental Health.

MindKare

The MindKare kiosk. Photo by Sue Thorn, provided to bostonmagazine.com

The transition into fall and winter, as weather grows colder and sunlight grows scarcer, is often accompanied by a rise in seasonal depression.

It’s no wonder, then, that Screening For Mental Health, a Wellesley-based organization aiming to erase the stigma of mental illness, chose to hold its National Depression Screening Day in October. And with its new project, the MindKare Kiosk, that screening just got a whole lot easier.

MindKare allows users to begin detecting ailments like anxiety and depression—what they call a “check-up from the neck up”—using a digital, anonymous question-and-answer test administered at one of its kiosks, which also provide educational resources about common mental health conditions and local treatment centers. The booths are intended for public spaces and universities, and are aimed at “making learning about and screening for treatable mental health conditions as commonplace as a blood pressure screening,” according to an announcement from the company.

“We want to raise awareness about the accessibility of local counseling and resources,” says Candice Porter, the organization’s executive director. “People can slow down, take a look, and evaluate themselves without pressure.”

The company’s first kiosk is in Philadelphia, at Drexel University’s student recreation center, but its second is slated to arrive at an as-yet-undisclosed Massachusetts university later this year. “We’ve gotten a lot of green lights, and we’re really excited to bring this project into our own backyard,” Porter says. “We’re going to have about 22 installed by 2016.”

Curious about the company’s technology? Take an online screening here.

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